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Types of Walking Aids for Elderly: How to Choose?

As people age, they may experience changes in their mobility that make it difficult to walk without assistance. Walking aids can help to improve balance and stability, and reduce the risk of falls. There are many different types of walking aids available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Walking Stick

This is what most people visualize in their head when they think about cane. Walking stick or straight cane are the simplest type of cane and provide the least amount of support. It is the lightest and easiest to use, but may give a false sense of security as it won't be able to give adequate support when too much pressure is applied onto it.

Narrow-base quad cane

A narrow-base quad cane is a type of cane with four legs. The four legs provide more stability than a traditional straight cane, making it a good choice for those who need an extra support. Narrow-base quad canes are also typically lighter and more portable than its wide-base counterpart, making them a good option for older adults who are still relatively active.

Wide-base quad cane

A wide-base quad cane is similar to a narrow-base quad cane in every way, except it has wider legs. The wider base provides even more stability, making it a good choice for people who have balance problems or who are at higher risk of falling. However, due to the larger base, they might not be compatible with most indoor staircases, limiting its versatility. Wide-base quad canes can also be more difficult to maneuver than narrow-base quad canes, so they may not be the best option for active individuals. Example of patients that would benefit from a quad cane include hemiplegic stroke patients.

Walking frame

A walking frame or a walker is a type of walking aid that provides more support than a cane. It has four legs and a handlebar, which can be used to help the user balance and move around. Walking frames are a great choice for elderly who need a lot of support, or those with difficulty walking long distances. That said, it's heavier and more cumbersome than a cane, and will not allow for stair-climbing at all. It might also not be suitable for certain stroke patients who are unable to properly carry the frame with using both arms.

There's another subtype of walking frame that comes with 2 small front wheels, making it function more similarly with a rollator walker.

Rollator walker

A rollator walker is a type of walking aid that has wheels. The wheels make it easier to move around as the patient can push and roll forward without having to lift the whole thing up, while the handlebar provides support. Rollator walkers are a good choice for people who need a lot of support but still want to be able to move around independently.

Here are some factors to consider when choosing a walking aid:

  • The patient's age and physical condition

  • The patient's needs for balance and stability

  • General lifestyle and activities

  • Budget and affordability

The best type of walking aid for an elderly patient will depend on their individual needs and abilities. If you're still confused, it is best to consult with a physiotherapist to choose the right walking aid. It is also important to make sure that the walking aid is properly fitted and adjusted. This will help to ensure that the patient is safe and comfortable using it.

Contact us at 010-2805693 if you have troubles finding the correct adjustments / choosing the right walking aid for your loved ones.


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